Wedding Week Details {t stones}

Well, my big day is just around the corner. The festivities will begin this Saturday, and on Sunday I will marry Vinnie- my love, my best friend, and my better half. Although there have been some hiccups along the way, all-in-all, this planning experience has been fun and educational. I mean, who knew I could plan such a big & beautiful event!? One of the things I've truly enjoyed is magically stumbling upon talented people to help me. It happened once with finding LizzyBLoves, who designed my gorgeous invites & programs, and it happened again with the gifts for my bridesmaids. I had a vision in mind for the jewelry I wanted my girls to wear. I searched high and low at stores and couldn't find the right thing. Then I happened to run into my friend Tiffany Adams who owns a jewelry line called "T Stones". She showed me her portfolio and before you know it... boom! I had stunning custom, hand-made jewelry for my bridesmaids that totally complement the dresses! It's amazing how eventually your vision just comes together in the end. I can't show you what Tiffany made my girls, because I don't want to ruin the surprise ;-) but here's a peek at some other pieces she's made. If you live in Los Angeles you can check out her work at Cami in Manhattan Beach or give her a call to have something made just for you... The holidays are just around the corner (hint, hint)! The necklaces and earrings are made with high-quality stones and are reasonably priced! Here are two of my favorites:

Photo Credit: T Stones Jewelry

My advice to other brides out there is to have faith that it will all be beautiful and wonderful like you imagined, DELEGATE, and stay organized. It has helped me tremendously that I have been doing little things for my wedding all year; I learned recently how important delegating is too. This week I have ironed out the following details:

  • seating chart (not as bad as I thought it would be)
  • welcome bags (fun & affordable)
  • party favors (delegated to the moms- check!)
  • put someone responsible in charge of gifts & cards
  • DIY table numbers & directional signs
Other than that, I just have to pick up my dress tomorrow and show up on Saturday for the rehearsal! I feel relaxed & ecstatic at the same time! I know that this weekend will be one that I'll remember always!
On that note, I'll leave you with some breathtaking "first looks." I can't wait for mine! :)

Photo Credit: Bridal Guide

Photo Credit: Style Me Pretty

Photo Credit: Style Me Pretty

 It's hard to believe that I have contributed 46 posts to this fabulous blog over the past 11 months. This has been such a rewarding experience. THANK YOU Allison for this opportunity. I'll be back posting on E&I a couple more times to share with you my thoughts from "the other side" and of course share photos and video with you once they're ready.

Yours Truly,

Taya (soon-to-be DiCarlo)

the make-up trial {bridal beauty}

Well, I'm now just 40 DAYS away from my wedding day. Today I'm making a special trip to Swell Beauty for my make-up trial. Prior to being engaged I didn't really think make-up trials were necessary, but now I've changed my tune. If you have the opportunity to get a make-up trial done by the person who is doing your make-up on your big day then DO IT! Not only will it save you time (explaining what you want), it will also give you piece of mind so you can relax and enjoy getting ready with your girls. Have you ever googled "bridal make-up?" Oye, some of the image results are horrendous!!! Why do some brides think more is better? I think a natural look is the most desirable.... and I don't mean "no make-up;" I mean wearing enough so that you still look like yourself, not a Vegas show girl ;-)

My decision to go with Swell Beauty was simple: I attended my friend Ashley's wedding recently. It was 103 degrees that day and her make-up looked FLAWLESS and lasted through the entire reception! When she got back from her honeymoon I called her and asked for her make-up artist's number.

photo credit: left & right 

Here are some tips Dee from Swell Beauty gave me to prepare for my trial:


- Have a clean face if necessary.
- Bring pictures/ magazine tear outs of Makeup that you admire (not required) we will have some inspirations.
- Have Dress/Jewelry or pictures of these things,helpful to you during Preview Pictures.
-We will discuss your ideal look for your Wedding, ask you questions, such as colors,including bouquets, dress and color of your jewelry and/or accessories, to coordinate your overall look.
 - Once we complete your first desired Makeup look, we will put your jewelry on, and take Pictures and if requested we will do one more Makeup look and take another set of pictures.
- We will spend a bit more time on your Makeup during your Trial appointment, so we can get to know your skin type and what products work best for your desired look and discuss Details.
Do you have any bridal beauty tips?? Feel free to share!
I'll let you know how my trial goes!!!! :-)

DIY wedding favors

Now that I'm just 54 days away from saying "I DO" it's time to talk about favors! I have often thought to myself, "do I really need to do favors?" After-all, I can think of numerous weddings I've been to where I either didn't take the favor, or never used it. The thought of putting a ton of effort into making favors and being left with a majority of them bothers me. So.... what's a bride to do? Well, I did a little research by googling "wedding favors that people actually want." (Believe it or not, Google actually finished that sentence for me, so at least I know I'm not alone on this subject.) Here are some of the creative favor ideas I came across:

A wine stopper & a CD of the bride and groom's favorite love songs

DIY Rice Crispy Treat Favors! yummmmmm! Click the photo for the step-by-step TUTORIAL!

Homemade Limoncello!

candies in the color of your wedding. simple, but cute

Italian Wedding Bombonieres.... pretty sure Greeks do these too ;-)

 Photo credit: left & right

Are you a bride that plans on doing favors? If so, what ideas can you offer for those of us debating whether or not we should do them? Looking forward to reading your comments! :)

style, comfort &/or color {bridal shoes}

In exactly 2 months from today I will be married... OMG! The next 60 days or so will be filled with bridal showers, last minute vendor meetings, and finalizing the details. One of those details is picking out what shoes I'm going to wear. Lately the trend has been to wear a pop of color. I once thought that I would go that route, but now I'm leaning toward something more traditional and elegant. Oh and here's something we rarely think about ladies.... COMFORT! Yes we want to look gorgeous from head to toe on our wedding day, but at what cost? I don't know about you, but I think I'm going to wear something feminine and elegant for the ceremony and photos, then opt for something more comfortable and stylish for the reception. Here's some of my inspiration:

TOMS, Miu Miu, Badgley Mischka Kate Spade & Stewart Wietzman

Badgley Mischka & BHLDN Steve Madden &  Jimmy Choo

What about you? Can you swing the 5 inch heels all night, or are you going to have a second pair of fancy flats to hit the dance floor with?

Sunshine Inspiration {Shopping for Flowers}

I will become Mrs. DiCarlo in just 117 days from now..... oh. em. gee. People have continued to ask me, "how's the planning going?" and I simply reply, "great!" That's the truth folks. Maybe I'm in denial about how fast time seems to be flying by, but I honestly don't feel stressed at all. All of the big stuff on my list has been taken care of. These next 117 days will be all about the details. This Thursday I'm going to visit a floral shop and linen store with Linda, my wedding planner, so I'm using today's post to do a little homework in preparation for our visit.

If you've followed along with my past posts about florals, you know that I love succulents. The difference between then and now is that I have confirmed that my colors are grey and yellow.  Here is some of my inspiration...


Source: one, two, three

Source: one, two, three


Source: left, right

Source: one, two, three


One thing I learned from researching flowers is that they have some funny names, like: "Billy Balls" and "China mums." I have a feeling this is going to be a very educational experience for one who does not have a green thumb, like me....I'll keep you posted on how the trip went!

In the meantime, do you have any pointers or tips to help me prepare for my trip to the florist? Anything you wish you knew or did before you went? I am hoping that I can save some dough by getting some of the containers for the flowers on my own and giving them to the florist. Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!

unique & crafty gifts {bridesmaids}

Having just participated in my best friend's wedding, I am very present to how I would like to thank my bridesmaids for being in my wedding. Shana (the fabulous Maui bride from last week's post) gave us the most darling gifts. We all got monogrammed totes- mine has my future initials on it :) within the totes were goodies like a magazine, a beautiful necklace, and a fun kimono robe to get ready in- which made for great photos of all of us together. Here are some items that inspired me online, which I'll likely end up gifting to my lovely ladies.

Source: one, two, three (from left to right)


Source: top, bottom

Source: left, right


Source: one, two, three (left to right)

And for those of you ladies who are looking for a cute and easy DIY tutorial on making personalized bridesmaid hangers, CLICK HERE!

A little update on my planning: next week I'm going out with my wedding planner, Linda, to look at linens and flowers!!!! Stay tuned for a fun report on that soon :) HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!! xo, Taya

for crafty brides {DIY thank you cards}

Ever since I was a little girl, I've always been creative and artistic. I actually almost majored in art when I was applying to colleges! Even though I took the journalism & sales routes in my career(s), creating things is still in my blood. Throughout my planning I have had my hands in everything! For example, we are hiring a DJ and I plan on giving him a specific list of songs to play. And as you read last week, I am working with an invitation designer to create a unique & custom invitation that suites my style! In my opinion, crafty and creative weddings feel more personal and unique!

In this week's post I'm deterring from my timeline and sharing with you some inspiring DIY thank you cards! I'm looking forward to tackling this task when the time comes :)

The photo below is of an ADORABLE thank you card for your bridesmaids. Click on the picture and you'll see the entire tutorial. I think I'm going to make these for my maids :)

Martha Stewart's website has a TON of ideas for DIY thank you cards any other cool crafts for weddings! Here are some of her examples below that inspired me.


You can never go wrong with a thank you card that has a photo of you and your hubby holding a sign that says "thank you." So simple and sweet.... I think this is the direction we're going in.

What kind of ideas did you explore for thank you cards? Did you do something simple? Something crafty or unique? Please share your ideas!

Mayan Mystique Meets Urban Chic Invitations {LizzyBLoves}

I've learned something about myself through this planning process; I have a unique taste. In other words my style is not traditional. So, when it came to picking out wedding invitations I felt like there was nothing out there that really rang my bell.  However, the one invitation that I loved was custom designed by the bride herself... who happened to be a graphic designer. What I love about her invites is that they're simple, chic and a little retro. (note: Kelly + Chris' Palm Springs entire wedding is totally inspiring to me. And if you've been following me along, you'll see why :) Wedding invitations were not high on my priority list of spending, however I found myself feeling a little board with what was out there; everything looked so ordinary and predictable. I didn't want to straight out copy Kelly (above), so to overcome this obstacle I did what any Engaged & Inspired bride would do.... I got creative! I established my colors (grey and yellow) and I imagined what my perfect invites would look like, then I started a google image search. I am getting married at The Hotel Maya in Long Beach. The vibe there is described as "Mayan Mystique meets Urban Chic." Immediately I envisioned something with a Latin American flair with a modern twist. So, how does one find a custom invite that fits this locale? Well, I started by googling "mexican tile inspired invitation." Low and behold I stumbled upon Lizelly, owner of, and designer extraordinaire for Lizzy B Loves. Imagine how excited I got when I found these images!

I would love a custom invitation that has the tile/color scheme you see above in a format like the one below. By the way, the invite below is printed on Italian water color paper. It's textured and feels extra special.

Once I found the Mexican tile inspired invitations I was pretty much dead set on contacting Lizelly. As much as I use the internet, it was still pretty cool to call her and say, "hey I found your work through a google search. Will you design my wedding invitations?" Lizelly sent me hard copies of sample invitations she had done before and I loved them! Just recently I was in San Diego for my best friend's bachelorette party and got to meet Lizelly in person! We are working together to design a custom invitation that speaks to my style and vision. I feel so lucky to have found her. Thanks Google ;-)

Here are a few more hand-crafted invitations by, Lizzy B Loves. Enjoy!

How did you choose your wedding invitations? Were you pretty easy-going by just picking a simple template in person at a store, or were you pretty picky? Did you design them yourself? How crafty did you get? Feel free to share your story or any pointers you may have!

Oh, the places you'll go {honeymoon}

I've got to give credit where credit is due. I love Bride's magazine (thank you Shana for the subscription!). Every time I get stuck in my planning or don't know what to blog about I turn to the checklist page of my monthly issue. It's hard to believe I'm coming up on the 6 month mark of planning my big day! One of the things I plan on checking off in the upcoming month is our HONEYMOON!!! How exciting!

I'd like to share that although I've always wanted to, I have not done that much traveling. And when I say "traveling," I mean international travel. I've been to Canada, Mexico and the British Virgin Islands, but I've never been to Europe! Going to Europe may not happen this time around because we are getting married in November and we prefer to go when it's warm, but hey, a girl can dream ;-)

Through my research I found a very cool site where they breakdown suggestions on where to honeymoon based on the month you're getting married!!! For the month I am getting married, the site suggests:

November Australia, Bahamas, Bali, Belize, Brazil, Canada (ski destinations), Central and South Africa, Egypt, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Seychelles, Spain, U.S.(ski destinations, Southeast, Southwest)

Aside from these suggestions, here are some of the places I've been daydreaming of:

Greece! My dad is 100% Greek and I have always dreamed of visiting! My last name, Asimos, is really Asimakopoulos. Unfortunately, November is not an ideal time to travel there (though I hear May and June are awesome!) Plus, Vinnie has been to Greece before and we'd like to vacation somewhere neither of us have visited.

On that note, here are some other cool places... like BRAZIL! Vinnie trains Brazilian Jui Jitsu 5-6 times a week at the Gracie Academy... he's a purple belt ;) I know he'd love to visit Brazil, as would I!

I visited the Virgin Islands a few years ago and it was by far the most beautiful place I've ever been to! I wouldn't mind visiting again ;-)

Because we are watching our budget and we consider ourselves adventurous people, I don't think we're going to hire a travel agent. What are your thoughts on that? Do you consider yourself a DIY honeymooner? We also want to go somewhere we can relax AND play. Any suggestions or pointers on how we can find a balance of the two?

I leave you with, " you're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way!"

-Dr. Seuss

Succulent Centerpieces & A New Engagement

Side-note before I get started on today's post... over the weekend my brother, Christopher PROPOSED to his girlfriend, Rachel!!!! They have been happily together nearly 6 years and are now engaged! I couldn't be more happy for the two of them. Let the countdown begin for my wedding and theirs! Cheers to the future Mr. & Mrs. Asimos! :)

At this point in my planning I am feeling much more relaxed. I have checked off many things on my list. On April 7th I will be meeting with my wedding coordinator and visiting a florist. Since flowers are not high on my list of budget 'must-haves' I'm interested in seeing what my money can get me.

I'm envisioning something simple, classy, and elegant. Oh, and succulents are a must. Here is some of my inspiration.

Check out these tiny white daisies below along with the tea wedding favors. (It says 'love is brewing' ... So cute!) I also wouldn't mind incorporating some baby's breath.

My friend Jessica shared with me a great idea that she used for her wedding. Reuse the flowers that are used in your ceremony and have them transfered over to your reception during cocktail hour. That way you get two for the price of one! She also advised that not every table needs a floral centerpiece. Instead every other table could have a candle centerpiece or something different.

Do you have any advice on where I could save money on flowers? I definitely want my flowers to be pretty but I don't want to spend an arm and a leg. Ideas welcome! Comment away! :)